Last Updated on February 6, 2023
Wondering what a VPN Concentrator is?
As remote working becomes common, security dangers are moving from our corporate offices to our homes. This transformation can leave us susceptible if we do not have the proper security technologies in place. Businesses are exploring ways to extend corporate security measures into employees’ homes because of this trend.
Here’s where a VPN concentrator (Virtual Private Network concentrator) comes in handy. But what exactly is a VPN concentrator and how does it work?
VPN concentrator meaning
A VPN concentrator is a networking device that allows users to create and manage many VPN connections in a single location. It can create many encrypted VPN tunnels, which allow for the establishment of a safe and encrypted connection between different VPN nodes. It’s a functionality that is implemented on the server side.
This device enhances the capabilities of a VPN router. One such tool has the capability of serving thousands of users at the same time while simultaneously creating a VPN tunnel for each of them. Consequently, if a corporation makes use of a VPN concentrator, its personnel will be able to safely access the company’s internal network from anywhere in the world.
Where are VPN concentrators located?
In most networks, VPN concentrators are located at or near the front of the network, beneath or close to a firewall. It is a physical device that comes with dedicated software that allows for a limited number of VPN connections to be established. When compared to a VPN, a VPN concentrator performs a similar function (encrypting outgoing and incoming data and using security protocols to establish secure tunnels), but on a bigger scale.
Who uses VPN concentrators?
People rarely utilize these devices in private settings; instead, they are most commonly used in large business enterprises with a significant number of remote employees to communicate with one another. VPN concentrators are also used by military and other organizations in situations when a secure distant connection is critical.
What does a VPN concentrator do?
A VPN concentrator performs the following functions:
- Secure your traffic by creating encrypted tunnels. It can create multiple VPN tunnels in a single network
- Authentication of users who access the centralized system
- Encryption and decryption of data
- Assigning IP addresses to users
- Ensuring end to end encryption from a centralized network to a remote client
Companies that use VPN concentrators can verify that all of their employees are protected to the same extent.
Because of the significant maintenance costs associated with a VPN concentrator, you should only consider using one if you own and operate a large organization. When protecting a smaller number of users, a VPN router may be sufficient protection because it is far less expensive and easier to operate.
However, configuring a VPN router for a high number of connections is quite complicated, making a VPN concentrator a more convenient solution in these situations.
VPN concentrators are not to be confused with site-to-site VPN services, which are different. The latter provides secure connections between stationary sites (for example, different offices), which can then access the same databases and internal systems as the first location did.
Benefits of a VPN concentrator
It is good for large companies
Users with internet connection anywhere in the world can securely connect to the company network. The VPN Concentrator reroutes and reshapes their network traffic.
After the encryption procedure is complete, it uses an encrypted tunnel to transport the data and requests to the business server. The VPN tunnel is often created quickly upon the generation of a communications request.
When you launch the software, it establishes a tunnel to the VPN concentrator, allowing you to receive any data that passes through it.
Software applications may be configured to be Always-Up, so whenever you power on your device, it will always connect to the corporate network via the VPN concentrator via an encrypted tunnel.
It protects sensitive data
If a business’s networks are not secured, hackers can infiltrate and plant malware or steal sensitive data. VPN concentrators protect and encrypt data in these commercial environments.
While you may wish to use a remote desktop application as a home user, particularly if you use a dynamic IP, this is not recommended for commercial systems.
They should, at the very least, have a VPN router operating on the network. This term has become synonymous with VPN concentrators in recent years, as manufacturers no longer produce standalone concentrators. They merge the functionalities into multipurpose routers that also come equipped with a firewall.
VPN concentrators are a subset of routers that support more complex protocols and algorithms. There are still conventional routers available, which you must distinguish from VPN concentrators.
VPN Concentrator vs. VPN Router
When deciding between a VPN concentrator and a VPN router that is capable of tunneling, it is critical to have all of the information available. VPN routers are different depending on their underlying features, the type of remote access you require, and the applications you intend to utilize with the router.
The best VPN concentrators, on the other hand, are the types of devices that medium- to large-sized businesses employ to protect their networks. They are industrial instruments that are not intended for use by individual home users. Aside from that, they are significantly more expensive than standard routers.
It is recommended that you start with a VPN-capable router that serves as a checkpoint for your server and allows your small business to benefit from increased security while making fewer financial investments.
It will be more difficult to set up and configure than the concentrator since you will have to configure VPN clients on each of the remote devices that will be in use individually, rather than in bulk.
As a third option, you might use a virtual private network appliance, which is more of a security multitool that offers many advanced functions but has lower protection than a virtual private network concentrator or router.
There are a variety of options available to safeguard your networks with strong encryption and to keep them safe from any external attack, including wireless networks. In addition to being one of the most complex security network technologies accessible, the VPN concentrator is simply one of the many options available.